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Take a Look at Sundance’s 2016 Animated Short Selections

The Sundance Film Festival has announced the short film selections for their 2016 edition, scheduled for January 21-31 in Park City, Utah.

Twelve animated shorts were selected for the animated shorts category, and at least five other animated films appear in the documentary short, new frontier, and midnight short categories. The animation selections are, as usual, an eclectic grabbag, and include a viral online hit (Life Smartphone), a Cannes Short Film Palme d’Or winner (Waves ’98) and an animated piece by an indie live-action filmmaker Caveh Zahedi (Bob Dylan Hates Me).

The UK’s National Film and Television School made an especially strong showing animation-wise with three of its graduation films making it into competition: Nina Gantz’s Edmond, Steve Warne’s Pombo Loves You, and Simon Cartwright’s Manoman.

Last year’s Short Film Grand Jury Prize at Sundance was awarded to an animated project: Don Hertzfeldt’s World of Tomorrow, which is currently shortlisted for an Academy Award.

A complete list of animated shorts at Sundance 2016 is below:

Animated Short Films Category
  • Bob Dylan Hates Me / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Caveh Zahedi)
    Independent filmmaker Caveh Zahedi meets his childhood idol.
  • A Coat Made Dark / Ireland (Director and screenwriter: Jack O’Shea)
    Two burglars strike it rich after stealing a mysterious coat. So begins this darkly comic tale, in which Midnight, an anthropomorphized dog, and his human servant Peter, struggle for power, courtesy of the coat.
  • Deer Flower / South Korea, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kangmin Kim)
    Dujung, an elementary school student, goes to a farm in the suburbs with his parents. While his parents believe the expensive and rare specialty from the farm will strengthen their son’s body, Dujung suffers side effects.
  • Edmond / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Nina Gantz)
    Edmond’s impulse to love and be close to others is strong—maybe too strong. As he stands by a lake contemplating his options, he reflects on his defining moments in search of the origin of his desires.
  • Glove / U.S.A. (Directors: Alexa Haas, Bernardo Britto, Screenwriter: Bernardo Britto)
    The true story of a glove that’s been floating in space since 1968.glove_haas_britto
  • The Grandfather Drum / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Michelle Derosier)
    As the balance of the world turns upside down for the Anishinabek people, the elder Naamowin builds a healing drum to save his grandson and his people.grandfatherdrum
  • The Itching / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Dianne Bellino)
    In this parable, a shy wolf tries to connect with a group of hip, party-loving bunnies but finds her body is in revolt.
  • Life Smartphone / China (Director and screenwriter: Chenglin Xie)
    The phenomenon of increasing smartphone addiction can be attributed to today’s cutting-edge technology. Staring at glowing screens instead of exploring the vast expanse of life, people are gradually alienating themselves from the richness, depth, and loveliness of life.
  • Limbo Limbo Travel / France, Hungary (Directors and screenwriters: Zsuzsanna Kreif, Borbála Zétényi)
    In a country where men seem more interested in their electronic gadgets than their peers, a group of lonely and disillusioned women take the Limbo Limbo bus. Off to a far exotic country, they hope to find happiness.
  • Pombo Loves You / United Kingdom (Director: Steve Warne, Screenwriter: Josh Blaaberg)
    A distant father is forced to confront a heroic but troubled past life as ’80s TV character Pombo.
  • Shiny / U.S.A. (Directors: Spencer Susser, Daniel Cloud Campos)
    A damsel in distress gets undressed when a man from the Midwest puts to rest a world that’s obsessed with “the priceless,” also known as “the shiny.”shiny_susser_campos
  • Waves ’98 / Lebanon (Director and screenwriter: Ely Dagher)
    Disillusioned with life in the suburbs of segregated Beirut, Omar’s discovery lures him into the city. Immersed into a world that is close yet isolated, he loses track and finds himself struggling to keep his attachments and sense of home.

Additional animated pieces that are in competition include:

  • In the Documentary Short Films category
    The Saint of Dry Creek / U.S.A. (Director: Julie Zammarchi)
    Patrick Haggerty was a teenager in rural Dry Creek, Washington, in the late 1950s. Here, he remembers the day he first had a conversation with his father about being gay.
  • In the New Frontier Short Films category
    Abendland (Hours, Years, Aeons) / Finland (Directors: IC-98: Patrik Söderlund, Visa Suonpää, Screenwriter: Patrik Söderlund)
    In a twilight world long after the age of man, a twisted ecosystem centered around an overgrown fruit tree undergoes parasitic and geological transformations as hours, years, and eons pass.
  • In the New Frontier Short Films category
    Voyagers / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Santiago Menghini)
    Travel along with the Voyager spacecrafts as they traverse the solar system on their planetary expedition, spanning over three decades.
  • In the Midnight Short Films category
    The Chickening / U.S.A., Canada (Directors and screenwriters: Nick DenBoer, Davy Force)
    All pork and no chicken makes Jack a dull boy. Luckily, Jack gets a new job as senior chief night manager at Charbay’s Chicken World and Restaurant Resort, the world’s largest fast-food entertainment complex; however, things quickly get very clucked.thechickening
  • In the Midnight Short Films category
    Manoman / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Simon Cartwright)
    When Glen attends primal scream class, he releases something from deep within that knows no limits.
  • Also notable: animator Drew Christie has a live-action film in the narrative competition called Emperor of Time, about the pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge whose sequential photographs of animals and humans in motion have been used by animation artists for over a century.

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